YOU CAN EDIT THIS PAGE! Just click any blue "Edit" link and start writing!

Skye

From Wikitravel
Revision as of 14:47, 15 April 2007 by Sietse Snel (talk | contribs) (Do: syntax fix)
Jump to: navigation, search
Skye

Default Banner.jpg

Skye, often referred to as the Isle of Skye, represents the largest of the Inner Hebrides located off the west coast of Scotland. The capital and largest town on the island is the picturesque port of Portree.

The Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye

Cities

  • Armadale - linked to Mallaig on the mainland.
  • Broadford - useful town near the centre of the island.
  • Glenbrittle - a good walking and climbing base for the Cuillin, Skye's best known mountains.
  • Kyleakin - pleasant bridgehead.
  • Portree - the attractive capital of the island.
  • Uig - the exit route for the Outer Hebrides.

Regions

Get In

The Skye Bridge - linking back to the mainland

By road

Skye is linked to the mainland by a bridge from Kyle of Lochalsh to Kyleakin, as well as via car ferries from Armadale to Mallaig, and from Kylerhea to Glenelg.

By ferry

Now that the Skye Bridge is open (and toll-free!), it is no longer essential to travel to Skye by boat, but it is still an enjoyable ride.

The main route to the mainland is on the Caledonian Macbride [1] ferry between Armadale and Mallaig.

Skyeferry [2] also operates in summer between Glenelg and Kylerhea.

For the Outer Hebrides, Calmac [3] run to Uig from Tarbert on Harris and Lochmaddy on North Uist

There's a local ferry from Sconser on Skye to Inverarish on Raasay.

By train

Trains stop just the other side of the sea channel from Skye. About three trains daily go on the beautiful route from Mallaig (ferry from Armadale) to Fort William and Glasgow and also from Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness.

By bus

Three Scottish Citylink coaches a day run from Portree to Kyle of Lochalsh, Fort William, and Glasgow or Inverness.

Local buses also run every 30 minutes over the Skye Bridge between Kyleakin and Kyle of Lochalsh.

Get Around

By bus

Regular buses run between Portree and Kyleakin, Broadford, Armadale, Uig and elsewhere.

The excellent Rapsons timetable lists the schedules for the local services, most of which start and end in Portree, the island's centre of business. Most areas can easily be reached by bus, and the courteous local drivers will assist in finding destinations (and will watch out for you if you say you're returning later in the day). A "rover" ticket can save you some pence if you're going to make a few stops along the way. It is a familiar sight to see the bus driver stop next to someone's house to deliver some groceries or at a remote newagents to drop off today's newspapers!

By car

Major roads are still quite narrow and can get congested in high season, however in low season driving in Skye is a delight. Car hire is available in Portree and Kyle of Lochalsh, but can be expensive. When travelling to the island in the high season, call ahead for availability.

By bicycle

Many of the roads in Skye are well cyclable, although traffic can be a problem in late summer. If you're cycling, make sure you have good raingear; Skye is wet even by the drizzly standards of Scotland. The ferry from Mallaig accepts bicycles, and the ride from Armadale north to the bridge is pleasant.

See

Castle Moil, Kyleakin
  • Old Man of Storr - one of the famous sights.
  • Dunvegan Castle - great castle in the north of the island with singing chief.
  • The Clan Donald Centre [4] at Armadale is set on a large estate and preserves the ancestral home of the MacDonalds at Armadale Castle. Facilities open to the visitor include the castle grounds (attractive gardens), several hiking trails, and a new museum, the Museum of the Isles, covering the history of the area (extending back as much as 1500 years). The grounds and museum are open during the summer 7 days, 9:30-5:30; the grounds are open for outdoor visits year-round, while hours at the museum during the fall are Wednesdays only, 11-3, and it is apparently closed during the winter months. Admission £4.90 for adults, £14.00 for families; admission covers both grounds and museum.
  • There are other castles on the island that are in a state of disrepair, if not outright ruins, but still scenic:
    • Castle Moil (Caisteal Maol) near Kyleakin
    • Dunscaith Castle on the wild west coast of the Trotternish Peninsula
    • Duntulm Castle north of Portree; Duntulm Castle Hotel (see under "Sleep") is nearby

Do

  • Go walking in the Cuillin, Skye's most famous group of mountains, or enjoy the coastal treks elsewhere on the island. Visit Isle of Skye walks, a free and independent guide to walks on the island.
  • For the less adventurous, there are boat tours of the Cullins during the summer months leaving from the remote village of Elgol. The views are stunning and you'll get to see some seals too.
  • The Isle of Skye Music Festival [5] is a mid-June event featuring popular music with both regional and international entries. This year's edition is on June 16-17 at a semi-abandoned airfield site near Broadford.
  • A good independent guide to places to visit and things to do on Skye can be found at The Skye Guide

Buy

  • Go to the Skye Silver shop in the north.
  • Woolen goods are a noted product of Skye. Look for them at the gift shop at the Clan Donald Centre (above) or in Portree or Armadale.

Eat

  • Flodigarry Country House Hotel tel:01470-552203 [6] was apparently once very good, but now past it: food is unimaginative, overcooked, and poor value at £36/head for three courses and coffee.
  • Loch Bay Seafood Restaurant Stein (at the end of the loch front road in the village) tel.01470-592235 [7]
  • Lower Deck Restaurant on the harbour in Portree, tel:01478-613611 specialises in simple, fresh seafood dishes, e.g. fish and chips £7.50.
  • The Three Chimneys Colbost, Dunvegan, tel:01470-511258 fax:01470-511358 email:[email protected] [8] was voted one of the 50 Top World Restaurants by "Restaurant" magazine. Book well ahead!

Drink

  • Talisker Distillery beside Loch Harport on the west coast of the island is available for visits and of course sampling of their single malt whisky.

Sleep

  • Camping is very popular with visitors to Skye, and there are numerous campsites dotted around the island, some in extremely picturesque settings.
  • Hostels are plentiful on Skye and a cheap alternative to expensive hotels or b&b's - check out www.hostel-scotland.co.uk for some ideas.
  • Sligachan Hotel, 01478-650204 [9] is a famous gathering place for climbers and walkers. Pricey (£90 and up for twin room with breakfast, at least during peak season), but you can't beat the location. There is also a bunkhouse.
  • Duntulm Castle Hotel, 01470-552213 [10] is near the ruins of Castle Duntulm north of Portree. A 19th-century shooting lodge in an attractive setting.
  • Clan Donald Centre includes a limited number of cottages; see link above under "See".
  • Self Catering Cottages are available at various locations over the island - e.g. Staffin Bay Cottages.

Get out

  • The Small Isles are accessible via Mallaig on the mainland
  • A great deal of beautiful and historic country is on the Scottish "mainland" side of the Skye Bridge, beyond Kyle of Lochalsh. Eilean Donan castle, near the tiny village of Dornie not far beyond Kyle of Lochalsh, is well worth a visit.
  • Ferries connect Skye to points in the Outer Hebrides, notably Harris (via Uig).



This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!